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  1. #1
    36cm2's Avatar
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    Older films for older cameras???

    Read somewhere that someone was getting much better results out of their 1950s folder by using thick type emulsions (Efke, Fomapan) rather than thinner, more modern emulsions (Acros, T-max). Any practical experience on this point? Is it a film flatness issue owing to older cameras being designed around thicker films of the times? Many thanks in advance for your responses.

    Leo
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  2. #2
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    I've used old as well as new films in my folders and I have to say that what you get depends on what you're looking for. Since most of the lenses I'm dealing with are not coated and my guesstimates of distance are sometimes a bit loose, I don't tend to worry much about super-sharp, contrasty images. The films you mention each have distinct personalities. I think that has more to do with why you might use one over the other than a difference of a few ten-thousands in film thickness. Some of my favorite rolls have been with Efke 50 in a Kodak Premo #2 Cartridge, but I've also had great luck using Acros in both Zeiss and Bessa 6x6 folders. 6x9 gives the film a bit more room to squirm, I admit, but again, I'm not after the Rolleiflex or Hasselblad look with these folders. Play around and save the precision shots for more precise equipment.

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Well, the older b&w emulsions had low (or no) red sensitivity. Hence the lenses were not optimized into the red; some of the really old lenses may have been calculated/optimized only for blue. Older lenses are the opposite of apochromatic: they have large focus shifts for different wavelengths of light. Symptoms of this may be lower contrast and lower sharpness when using the new emulsions. Obviously, coatings play a role too.

    This issue might be quite important, depending on your desired output. Maybe you want lower contrast e.g. for portraiture. Or maybe you want to pair older emulsions with older lenses to achieve a certain rendering.

    That's what comes to mind for now.
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  4. #4

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    old vs new

    I'm getting some of my best work using the NEW films especially fuli acros and and my ricoh tlr....the older lenses kick butt....try and see for yourself but in the end it is a matter of taste....
    Best, Peter

  5. #5
    Aurum's Avatar
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    Hmm, I'm unconvinced that the film stock makes all that much difference, apart from the differences in rendering.

    I've used Delta 400,HP5,FP4 and Tri-X in my 1930's Zeiss 6x9, and they all seem to work well enough. I also ran a C41 colour through there (Fuji IIRC).
    I did notice that I got quite a bit of brown hazing when I shot on a very sunny day, same as I used to on the Kodak 126 instamatic I used to use as a Kid. I'm presuming due to a combination of UV and uncoated lenses.

    I do have some Adox 50 Art just waiting to be put to good use however, and I'm really tempted to try some Ektachrome E6 just for giggles.
    "Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."

  6. #6

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    A 1950's folder will [should] have have a coated lens and no trouble dealing with modern films (b&W or colour) at all, even many the pre-war uncoated lens were corrected for colour film, the coating largely helps with flare and from a certain point of view gives the lens more speed. B&W Ortho film is still fun to use though but not needed for use in old cameras

    in relation to problems dealing with film thickness it can vary slightly depending on the camera model and year it was built, generally by the mid fifties most mid range folding camera have decent pressure plates that keep modern film perfectly fine (even many very low end cameras), conversely some low end consumer cameras, more so in the early 30's dont have a pressure plate at all or have very basic pressure plates installed. its my opinion that the film flatness issues and complaints stem from those years and is one of those mud slinging mythical problems that has stuck around forever. i havnt as yet found a film flatness issue with any camera having a reasonable pressure plate installed (which is largely most cameras from the mid 30s onwards). winding on just before shooting is good practice to eliminate any potential problems arising though

    the only reason i can think of atm, where using a thinker emulsion is helpful, for some people, is, for people using cameras like the super ikonta IV or Super Baldax (50's cameras) with film winding mechanisms with double exposure prevention and auto frame spacing (only a very few models have this problem-most 50's cameras dont have a problem) , that were designed to provide correct spacing according to the thicker film used of the day. using some brands of film with those cameras causes some overlapping of the frames, as the spacing mechanisms dont allow much margin for error.

    there are some pretty simple work arounds to overcome it though, adding on a length of about 150mm of backing paper to the take up spool seems to work well enough...a number of people have there own easy little remedy for it. One camera repairer in the US has been reported to make a new gear for the super Ikontas to correctly space the film
    Last edited by Anastigmatic; 04-20-2009 at 02:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    36cm2's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8330/4.3.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

    Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful. Looks like the recently acquired Perkeo II will be getting friendly with some Acros shortly.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anastigmatic View Post
    in relation to problems dealing with film thickness it can vary slightly depending on the camera model and year it was built, generally by the mid fifties most mid range folding camera have decent pressure plates that keep modern film perfectly fine (even many very low end cameras), conversely some low end consumer cameras, more so in the early 30's dont have a pressure plate at all or have very basic pressure plates installed. its my opinion that the film flatness issues and complaints stem from those years and is one of those mud slinging mythical problems that has stuck around forever. i havnt as yet found a film flatness issue with any camera having a reasonable pressure plate installed (which is largely most cameras from the mid 30s onwards). winding on just before shooting is good practice to eliminate any potential problems arising though
    I quite agree. These statements match my experience, and the bolded (by me) statement matches my personal conclusion.

    p.s. I tend to use "traditional emulsion" (AKA 'Thick') like Plus-X/FP-4, Tri-X/HP-5 because I like the look of the film, not because it works any better than the newer technology emulsions. This, however, is my style in all cameras, old and new(er). I like Kodak film better than Ilford in red-window cameras because it is easier to see the frame numbers.
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 04-20-2009 at 09:08 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Addendum

  9. #9

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    enjoy your Perkeo II 36cm2 they are a little favourite of mine, 'little' being the key feature of those, if your lucky enough to have the c/scopar fitted so much the better, you can get simply excellent results with them. use any film you like through it --except if you use slide/e6 then an accurate measure of your shutter speeds is helpful and if you dont have the s/compur shutter then you may find ND filters useful, their useful with the 1/500 shutter too though for special purposes

    Brian, nice to hear someone in agreement and with similar experience, it astounds me how the opposite prevailing views persist, kinda like chinese whispers from 80 years ago still being spread

  10. #10
    36cm2's Avatar
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    Thanks again and Anastigmatic, I can't tell you how awesome it was to receive my Perkeo II last night. I had been speaking with the previous owner last week and she underdescribed it. It's just gorgeous. I had purchased a super isolette last year and just couldn't get on with it for some reason. Great camera, but we didn't click. The Perkeo, on the other hand, just feels perfect. Finish, controls, size, even the tiny viewfinder - all great. Can't wait to use it and check out the results. It's got the Color Skopar with the Prontor S shutter. Still need to figure out whether I can get a yellow filter on there and close it, so I don't have to be carrying bits and bobs around on black and white shooting days. Too excited about this. Haven't been so psyched since I really started getting into my Rolleiflex. Awesome.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

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